Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned Islamic State millitants have used chlorine as a weapon are recruiting ‘highly trained professionals’ to make even more chemical weapons.

Ms Bishop said the rise of militant groups such as ISIS, also known as Daish, posed ‘one of the gravest security threats we face today.’

‘Apart from some crude and small scale endeavours, the conventional wisdom has been that the terrorist intention to acquire and weaponise chemical agents has been largely aspirational,’ Bishop told a meeting of the Australia Group in Perth.

‘The use of chlorine by Daish, and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development,’ she said.

‘Daish is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons.’

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